An Aer Lingus plane bound for Shannon had to return to New York’s JFK airport and make an emergency landing after brakes failed and the plane experienced landing gear problems and no flaps. The plane landed safely and all on board were cleared.
Flight EI110 to Shannon, a Boeing 757, had departed at 7:15pm but was forced to return. The plane came in much faster than normal and landed on runway 22 left. It landed just 15 minutes after take-off.ABC news reported the pilot’s conversation with JFK’s Air Traffic Control. He said "We do have a technical issue here - we lost our hydraulic system, one hydraulic system so we are going to have to return to Kennedy at some stage, not quite yet. I would like you to inform Kennedy that we have lost hydraulic fluid and it may be dumped on the runway we're not sure. Please stand-by for further.”
Spokesman for the Port Authority, Joe Pentangelo, said the Aer Lingus flight had landing gear problems and no flaps.
The faster than normal landings caused the plane’s rear brakes to overheat causing a small fire near the landing gear. This was extinguished by airport firefighters.
Late into the night emergency trucks still surrounded the plane, but all passengers had been safely evacuated at that point. The passengers were off-loaded onto Port Authority buses to be transported to the terminal.
Patrick Dyer Wolf, a passenger onboard commended the pilot’s skill and manner in which the Aer Lingus staff dealt with the situation. They described the surreal situation as something out of a “sci-fi movie.”
They said “The actual touchdown itself was pretty bumpy, but not out of control considering, he did an excellent job. Right away we could see there were maybe 15 or 20 fire trucks right on the runway immediately, ready to drive up, and they started spraying us like almost immediately."
He continued "While they were still spraying the plane, the pilot came out into the cabin and made another announcement and explained what happened. He said that one of the hydraulic tanks had been leaking hydraulic fluid, and it started as a slow leak and then eventually drained to empty.”
There are no reports of injuries on board the flight and all passengers will be accommodated on later flights.